As with any other habit, you don’t start reading in a day. Sometimes, it may take several attempts to fall in love with books. I remember making the most of every opportunity I got to not read up until tenth grade, regardless of what a book was about. Little did I know that they would eventually go on to become an integral part of my life.

I began appreciating books during my tenth grade summer vacation. Our English teacher had handed us tons of holiday homework. As if that wasn’t enough, she had asked us to read at least one novel over the break and present a summary of that novel in class after school resumed. As a hard taskmistress, Mrs. Mahajan used to be very strict with the homework. Reluctant to read a novel, I and my friends decided to look up the summary of some famous novel on Google and share it with her.

Once the vacation was over and school reopened, our teacher asked the class monitor to make a list of the novels each student had selected for the presentation. Unfortunately for me, the very first student on the list was One Night @ The Call Centre, which I was supposed to summarize as well. After the first presentation, we came to know that Mrs. Mahajan had read this novel, too. She even began discussing the characters with this student. The longer their discussion went on, the more I panicked. I hardly knew the story!

Only the first ten students could share their summaries on what turned out to be a very eventful day. Mrs. Mahajan said that she would cover the remaining presentations the following week because of curriculum-related compulsions. This came as a relief to me and I immediately decided to make the most of this chance. The stage was set for me to read a novel for the first time in my life.

After getting back home, I bought the book and began reading it. By the time I was done with the first chapter, I was eagerly looking forward to the second one. It was as if I had completely lost track of time. To my utter shock, it took me just four days to finish the novel!

Every journey starts with one step. In my case, this incident proved to be the step. Over time, books would teach me many a thing about life. For instance, I realized I could actually live the characters in a book. I also learned that money spent on a book never goes in vain; even if you aren’t able to read the book now, all you need to do is place it at a visible spot, and one day it will find its way to you.

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